September 30, 2015

Northern Ireland's disproportionate contribution to the world

In the realm of literature, sport, science, academia, governance and the military, Northern Ireland's contribution to the world has been immense. For a population of 1.8 million it's achievements have been remarkably disproportionate.

American David Remnick recognised this, especially in the field of poetry. The editor of the New Yorker wrote in 1994:
"The poets of Northern Ireland… there have been a remarkable number of them for a country of a million and a half."
Northern Ireland poet Nick Laird echoed this:
"There’s one and half million people in Northern Ireland so it is obviously over-represented as far as world-class writers go. And that is not a coincidence. Where there is a tradition in a culture of respect and application to an art form, then that art form tends to get good. Of course you want to be a part of it."
And fellow poet, contemporary of Michael Longley, Frank Ormsby repeated this observation:
"It is a source of great pride to me that such large numbers of poets, both male and female, continue to emerge here [Northern Ireland]."

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